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Anchor Blue Closing All 117 Stores

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After over 30 years as a specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories for the teenage and young adult markets, Anchor Blue is closing all 117 stores. Store closing sales started on January 7, 2011 and will continue until all merchandise is sold.

"As a way of expressing our appreciation for their years of patronage, we encourage all of our loyal customers to take advantage of the tremendous savings across all locations," said Tom Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Anchor Blue Retail Group.

Consumers can find incredible savings on all merchandise including tops, jackets and hoodies, shorts, jeans, pants and crops, dresses, accessories, backpacks and bags, fragrance, jewelry, swimwear, sunglasses, intimates, hats, shoes and belts.

Store fixtures such as apparel racks, shelving, lighting, cabinets and more will be sold too.

All Anchor Blue stores will honor gift cards until January 21, 2011. Returns on purchases made before January 7, 2011 with a receipt and in compliance with Anchor Blue's return and price adjustment policy will be accepted until January 21, 2011. After January 21, 2011, no returns or exchanges will be accepted on any merchandise. All sales made on or after January 7, 2011 are final.

Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources are collectively running the going-out-of-business sales on Anchor Blue's behalf.

"Consumers can find great values at every store location. Those who arrive first will be able to choose from the broadest selection of merchandise," Jeff Paronto, SVP, Chief Operating Officer, Hilco Merchant Resources and Thomas Lonabocker, Principal & Manager Director, Gordon Brothers Group jointly stated.

"All merchandise is currently marked down between 40% and 60% off regular retail pricing so we expect it to sell fast. All store fixtures are being sold too."

Beginning as Miller's Outpost in 1972, the company changed its name to Anchor Blue in the late 1990s to reflect the fact it marketed, distributed and sold its own line of jeans and other clothing and accessories in its stores.

Reinvesting, Reinventing, Re-issue Your Message

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As we have heard from various sources, the economic recovery will be a slow one that will move like a desert turtle in the Inland Empire region. Consumer spending will never be the same and because we live in a consumer driven region (goods movement, retail, service-based businesses) it will take us years to experience the likes of what we had before. This makes now a perfect time for business owners to re-invest in their operations, re-invent their business plans and to re-issue their messages to the world.


Keys for success in business are maximizing the use of assets and two key ones are its people and its processes.  By providing employees with professional development, training and skills improvement venues to all employees a company will be better positioned to succeed when opportunities surface. Process innovation is a proven sustainable advantage than product innovation so now is a great time for companies to examine what they do, critique the effectiveness, find better methods and implement changes that make things better.


Success in business requires a willingness to change and the suggestion here is that companies take the time to examine their focus, target markets and messaging.

·         Do any of the three still make sense?

·         Does the company actually live as the talk?

·         Is the target market being served effectively?

·         And does the target market make the company profitable?

Re-issue your message

If you are not planning to do this, stop reading so that those who are get a better benefit. Now represents a great time to talk with your banker/lender, customers and stakeholders/employees about where you are and where you are headed. Because of anxiousness and uncertainty you might not find a better audience. Employees are worried about jobs, banks fret over deposits and loan payments and customers worry that you won’t be there or that they can’t afford you anymore. The good news is that many of your competitors, the ones we told to stop reading, have cut advertising and marketing. So, if you continue to effectively market in today’s climate you will get an even bang for your buck.  In closing, George Eliot said, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” By constantly pushing ahead you can create the stimulus to your own business recovery.

Vincent McCoy

Executive Director, Inland Empire

Small Business Development Center

Mi Tortilla Serves Up Food & Fun

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By James Shanklin –

Mi Tortilla Mexican Grill located at 3203 Mission Inn Ave. Downtown Riverside.

Hanging televisions displaying live sports games and a quick order being served with indoor and outdoor eating areas makes the restaurant relaxing and fun for couples, friends, and family.

The welcoming staff is quick with the food’s preparation and service keeping the customer thinking about returning as they meet everyone with smiles. The food is cooked at the time of order, giving every burrito supreme, nachos with carne asada, or beef filled taco that juicy fresh taste.

Along with great customer service and wide selection of food, Mi Tortilla’s prices seem like a steal with the food’s quality and quantity. All of the menu items are reasonably priced under ten dollars. When deciding to dine-in instead of grabbing take out, customers can enjoy endless chips, salsa and drinks at the open bar.

Black Voice News intern Lena Vanda states: “The creative atmosphere and welcoming staff first struck me when I walked into Mi Tortilla. As I walked by the artistically painted walls and passed the festive lights I was welcomed by a cashier who asked how I was doing and then waited patiently for me and the rest of our party to place our order. This was encouraging to find in the midst of a culture where a friendly smile from a cashier is no longer a guarantee, but a luxury. All of the menu items are reasonably priced under ten dollars. After we ordered, we were able to help ourselves to unlimited chips and salsa at the salsa bar located in the center of the restaurant.

When our food was served I was pleased by the quality and the portions. It is filled with flavor and the servings were big enough to fill any appetite. My experience at Mi Tortilla has given me hope that it is possible to dine within a fun atmosphere and friendly service all within a reasonable price.”

Mi Tortilla is open everyday from 10am to 9pm.

Profiles In Black: Hickman's Farm

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By James Shanklin –

Since 1998 Hickman’s Farm & Kresmore Produce Distribution, has been serving fresh vegetables to customers.

Every Saturday, George Hickman’s various types of produce that range from black eyed peas, greens and okra, can be purchased at the Farmer’s Market in Glendale and Los Angeles.

Growing up on a farm in Louisiana, and spending 22 years in the Air Force and working in military departments, George took his knowledge of farms from his childhood, his people skills from the military and stapled them to the pride he would put into creating his business.

When George started his business in 1998, he had 23 years of solo farming experience already under his belt, but even he was surprised by the demand for fresh vegetables when he began distributing in  2000. His biggest sellers were okra, black eyed peas and greens.

“Many people have been migrating from the south, which has caused the demand for southern vegetables like black eyed peas,” said George’s wife, Helen Hickman.

When selling a product that can also be purchased in many grocery stores, George does believe a lot of his success comes from the freshness of his vegetables. He grows his vegetables during the season they are at their most fresh.

Summertime is for corns, peas, okra, and his wintertime special is his greens.

“Customers can see that my vegetables are not dried up. I don’t use any chemicals in my vegetables, they are fresh. The vegetables in stores are loaded with chemicals,” George said.

At this moment, when a recession can have some business peoples on their heels everyday, Hickman and his wife are very content with the way business is going right now.

“Everything is running smooth. I’m happy with the way things are going,” said George.

And George’s wife is just happy that George is able to keep his hands in a business that he grew up knowing and was interested with.

“He grew up on a farm and had gardens everywhere he lived. He knows it so well. It gives him something to do he enjoys,” said Helen Hickman.


909.877.3195 • FAX 909.820.0355
11435 Spruce Ave. Bloomington

MVBCC Holds Empowerment Event

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By CBM Staff –

The Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce recently held an empowerment luncheon focusing on the struggling economy, hosted by Janet Green, Canyon Crest Country Club.

Harrison McCoy, III, Engineer and grandson of Elijah McCoy, America’s first Black Engineer who also invented the Lubricating Cup served as the keynote speaker.  Linda D. Wright, Organizer, President/CEO/Founder Wright’s Community and Business Development Corporation and the President of the Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce stated:

“The goals [for this conference] are to educate attendees to be empowered in order to make informed financial decisions on how to live in this struggling economy. Small business, faith based/nonprofit organizations found out what’s happening in the technology world that affects all businesses. How to use renewable energy, such as solar and wind power; offset non-renewable energy consumption by purchasing alternative, efficient, or renewable energy sources.

“One of the other goals was to provide assistant through various organizations for veterans both returning and presently in the U.S.A. with workforce development training in going green initiatives, employment, housing, food, clothing and substance abuse, etc.” For more information on sustainability or the MVBCC contact 951.443.3611.

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BVN National News Wire